'Try A Train’ event at Clacton aims to increase confidence to travel

Friday, 20 May 2022

People in and around Clacton are invited to board a brand-new Greater Anglia train on Monday to have a look round it and see the new layout and features during a special event to help people travel with confidence.

Greater Anglia's Alstom new train pulled up at Walton on the Naze station curved platform

The event has been organised by the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership and Greater Anglia as part of a national ‘Community Rail Week’ with the theme ‘Give the train a try.’

One of Greater Anglia’s new electric commuter trains will stand in platform 4 from 10.15am until 2pm on Monday 23 May.

Local schoolchildren will visit until 11am, after which, the public is invited to come along and experience the train and its improved features – such as more seats, dedicated cycle areas and spacious wheelchair spaces which are clearly signposted on the outside of the train as well as accessible toilets and an accessible seating area with room for friends and family.

The trains are better for the environment too with an energy-efficient, aerodynamic design and regenerative braking which delivers energy back into the electrical supply network rather than waste the energy, through heat, as conventional brake systems do.

Greater Anglia and Community Rail Partnership staff will be on hand to answer questions and receive feedback.

Community Rail Week, organised by the Community Rail Network and sponsored by Rail Delivery Group, runs from 23-29 May.

The ‘Give the train a try’ theme is aimed at encouraging people to try train travel, to increase travel confidence and support a shift to greener journeys that don’t add to traffic and pollution, as the country begins to recover from the pandemic.

Jayne Sumner, Rail Engagement Manager for the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership, said, “We’re delighted to work with Greater Anglia to have one of their brand-new trains standing at Clacton for people to come and see the transformation in terms of comfort and accessibility.

“We hope that people who have not used the train before, have not yet seen one of the new trains, or people with accessibility needs will come along and have a look round the train to see how its improved features might help them to use rail safely and confidently.”

Jools Townsend, chief executive of Community Rail Network, said: “Community rail partnerships and station volunteer groups across Britain – including the many in the Anglian region – have long played a vital role engaging local groups, young people and families to boost rail travel awareness and confidence, increase access to opportunity, and break down barriers. It’s increasingly important for environmental reasons too, to reduce local traffic and pollution and help tackle the climate emergency.

“Community Rail Week aims to shine a light on our growing grassroots movement working tirelessly alongside our railway partners, and get the message out to more people about the benefits of rail travel. More than 70 activities are taking place nationwide, and it’s fantastic to see this important initiative coming to Clacton’s sunny shores – raising awareness and exploring how we can enable and empower more people to feel confident and able to travel by train.”